Yep lots of *spoilers* are found below:
I’ve finished the book a second time, giving me lots of time to “digest” everything. And I have spent lots of time on the fansites, reading what other people thought. There’s some people who didn’t like it, which baffles me. I thought it was perfect. The more I think about it, the more I love the book. So bare with me as I have some more thoughts on the book …
I felt the characters all progressed naturally. I loved how the characters grew - Bella became so much more mature in this book (her character developed from an infatuated teen to a loving mother and mature adult). Edward grew and embraced fatherhood – something he never dreamed possible. Even Jacob grew (more on him later …)
I also loved the few Edward and Bella bits in this. I was so happy they were finally married. I didn't think there was too much "honeymoon-y" parts in the book, or that there was too must “lust”. I thought it was perfect. Honestly, they just got married; of course they are going to "be together" a lot. They’ve never had that before, and that's part of being married. Those of us who follow the law of chastity should understand this more than anyone else. Sex is a really beautiful part of being married. That doesn’t make the book all about lust or un-romantic. I thought the book was still incredibly romantic. And I appreciated that all the sex stuff was very tastefully written. And I also loved that Bella realized that it was right for them to bind themselves together in every possible way before they had sex.
The love between Bella and Edward is beyond wonderful, but there's so much more to life than that. This may be difficult for some younger fans to comprehend right now. True, some of the focus was taken away from Bella and Edward. There were fewer moments between just the two of them; but their love was stronger than ever. Their little addition brought more happiness than they could have ever comprehended. Their relationship became more refined and mature, making it just that much stronger.
I’ve seen a lot of people talking about a lack of plot, but really these books are character driven; they don't really revolve around a certain plot, and that's one of the things I like about them.
People are saying that Breaking Dawn didn’t jive with the other 3 in the series. Her transformation was much too easy, etc. etc. From the very beginning it's been obvious that Bella is far from a normal human. Most humans are naturally avoidant of vampires; but rather than being repelled by a world beyond her own, she's drawn to it. It fascinates her. The only people she can seem to connect with on any deep level just aren't human. I think Bella was born to be a vampire. She says at one point that she feels that way. She never fit in anywhere because she hadn't found where she belonged. Everything falls into place when she takes on the form destiny intended for her. To put it simply, she really was always on a different wavelength than most people.
I was 99% sure she was going to transform into a vampire before I started Breaking Dawn … and I’m very glad she did. I didn't want to see her as a newborn because that would have to go on for at least a year, more time for Edward to spend protecting her and her being helpless (and I think we’ve all had enough of that). The fact that she was able to control herself was a good idea. Didn't Edward and the Cullens always find it odd that Bella was able to face their lifestyle, the Volturi and the supernatural world, without her brain exploding from stress? She was always able to survive the best considering the circumstances, and her new life would be no different.
There are people who actually loathe Nessie because she “takes away from Bella and Edward’s romance”. If anything, she adds to it. She's the most amazing kind of symbol of the love they have for each other.
Bella has always been selfless to an insane degree. This is apparent from the beginning when she sacrifices her own happiness for the sake of her mother's by moving to Forks. Is it so difficult so believe she would risk her life for her child's? Her seemingly sudden protective nature over the baby required little explanation. It's Bella's instinct to put another's life before her own. I also feel this protectiveness is natural given the circumstances. Nessie isn't just a stranger. A normal amount of time for her to form a connection isn't necessary. Nessie's her baby, her little nudger. She's already a part of her and a part of Edward. How could she not instantly love Edward's child?
Nessie's role actually made sense to me. Anyone remember Bella's lucid dreams? She always had them ... you know, it was hard to miss in all the previous books. Her love for Jacob, those dreams even, were all being channeled from Nessie. I loved how Bella had mentioned (in Eclipse, I think) that she felt a need to be a part of Jacob's life for some reason. And to think, she would be the reason for Jacob's eternal happiness all along ... just in a different way than he was thinking. So cool.
Speaking of Jacob – well, I said I always liked him, but he annoyed me, and I felt that he was in the way, blah, blah, blah. However, in this book I actually grew to love his character. The transition from Bella's point of view to his was flawless in my opinion, and I'm glad to have read through Bella's pregnancy from his POV rather than hers (she was suffering, no one understood her choice, she was going to fight for it, repeat for several chapters, you get the idea …) plus seeing the pregnancy through Jacob’s eyes was … well, icky. And perfect. I wanted a happy resolution for Jacob's pain (that didn’t involve him getting in the way of Bella and Edward). And we got that. Only we got so much more. We got ten whole chapters of Jacob's mind. With every snip, snip, snip of the imprinting Jacob finally became free. Free from his pain, his sorrow, his loneliness and now he has a purpose and a future. Call me a hopeless romantic – I don’t care! :)
Lots of people thought the ending was “anti-climactic.” Well, I won’t lie to you – I was definitely bracing for a fight, and freaking out the whole time (you can ask Cory if you don’t believe me). BUT when one didn’t happen, I wasn’t disappointed. Pat & I discussed (at length) what we thought the cover would mean (before the book was released). We thought it would all be about strategy. It’s a chess board with chess pieces … and when I think of chess, I think of a mental game. The point of chess is to play a mental game, designed to outthink and outmaneuver your opponent. I had all this in the back of my head when reading Breaking Dawn. I found the ending to be very climactic – because, in our opinion, there was a fight. It just wasn’t a physical fight – but man, there was a lot of mental fighting going on! And let’s face it … the books have always been about a mental fight – yes, there’s always been a physical component to the fight, but it’s always thought out meticulously first. So it makes perfect sense to me that the “big fight” we were all bracing for at the end of Breaking Dawn was a mental one. It was about strategy – Bella, Edward, Carlisle, Garrett, Alice – all outthinking their opponents, and leveling the physical playing field with Bella’s amazing shield. No wonder the Volturi ran off with their tales between their legs – they’d never had a fair fight and they weren’t about to start– they had been mentally outmaneuvered. Loved it!
I loved the last 2 pages. Loved them! It made me cry when Edward finally got to read Bella’s mind. No matter how many times I read it, it never fails to make me feel so good inside. Edward finally got what he wanted (almost more than anything else in the whole world) - a look into what Bella was thinking. Plus, I thought it was very fitting that Bella saved her best memories for that moment. Very special. He finally could see just how much he means to her … after squabbling over it for 4 books :) He always thought he loved her more than she loved him … and he could finally see that they were equal in their love for each other.
Oh and the humor! I LOVED the chapter titles and the sarcastic dialog. From Leah and Jake talking about Seth being dropped on his and chewing on a crib with lead paint, to blonde jokes and dog bowl with FIDO scratched in … I laughed, a lot! Out loud!
I just think it took amazing imagination to weave all these loose ends together. Everyone got their happily ever after ... YEA! That's why I loved this series in the first place. I enjoyed the way she wrapped things up - I never read this story as a lesson in reality. People are upset because all the characters get to live “happily ever after” and that’s not what happens in real life. Is all of this happiness unrealistic? I don't think so. The whole series has been full of struggle. Edward and Bella have been through the ringer time and time again. When they're finally rewarded for their dedication, people complain. I, personally, don't think there's anything wrong with the fact that after surviving so much hardship, they've become confident in their love. This isn't to say they'll never have another trial in their eternal lives, but the confidence they have provides a certain level of happiness that will always be there. I don't think that's too far fetched. Besides, the only kind of real ending there can be is a happy one. This isn't the end of their lives. It's simply the ending of this part of their lives. This journey is finally over because a resolution has been reached. Everyone can live happily ever after if they want to! (Besides, who actually reads these books as reality? They are fantasy.) I loved the ending. I love fairy-tale endings and happily-ever-afters. Like I said before – Breaking Dawn was perfect.